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Georgia TrueAllele admissibility leads to killer conviction
In the early morning of October 26, 2017, Hubert Moore (67) was randomly shot for eight dollars. His killer, Thaddus Nundra (38), had been released from prison a year before. Moore left behind his wife of 26 years.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) uses Cybergenetics TrueAllele® technology to connect complex DNA mixtures to criminals. They linked the shooter’s hat to Nundra, and excluded two other men. His defense attorney challenged the computer’s reliability.
On December 11, 2018, Judge Craig Earnest held an admissibility hearing on TrueAllele’s scientific reliability. South Georgia District Attorney Joe Mulholland prosecuted. Cybergenetics chief scientist Dr. Mark Perlin testified about TrueAllele reliability. GBI DNA analyst Emily Mathis testified about her TrueAllele work on the case.
Interviewed by WALB 10 News that day, Dr. Perlin said TrueAllele is "completely objective." With other software, "users choose their data, they set parameters – they choose which data to use and how to run it." He continued, "TrueAllele is just a calculator. All the data comes in, and accurate answers come out."
On January 21, Judge Earnest found "TrueAllele satisfies the Harper standard. Substantial evidence has been presented to the Court, which supports the admission of TrueAllele analysis, and no significant evidence has been presented to the contrary." His Order found "the TrueAllele analysis scientifically reliable, and the testimony concerning probabilistic genotyping is admissible at trial."
The trial started Monday, February 11. GBI’s Mathis testified about her TrueAllele DNA mixture findings. Later that week, the Decatur County jury convicted Nundra of killing Moore. He was sentenced to life in prison.
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